Intercepts

CIO exodus

First John Stenbit. Now John Osterholz.

The Defense Department's architecture and interoperability head will leave his post in early March for a job with British defense contractor BAE Systems, DOD and industry officials said.

Osterholz sent the Interceptor an e-mail noting that he was retiring after 35 years of government service, both in and out of uniform.

The departure will mark another significant change in the top ranks of DOD's information technology shop. Stenbit, the department's CIO, is expected to retire once the Senate confirms his replacement, Francis Harvey.

As director of architecture and interoperability in the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Networks and Information Integration and the Chief Information Officer, Osterholz oversaw the release of the department's new architecture policy last November.

Osterholz also helped oversee the planning of the almost $900 million Global Information Grid-Bandwidth Expansion program and award of the GIG-BE fiber and equipment contracts last October and December.

When is a PC not a PC?

If you want to do business with Wil Berrios, the Army Corps of Engineers' CIO, don't say the word "LAN" or "PC." There is no such thing as either a local-area network or a PC, he told vendors last week at a breakfast sponsored by Federal Sources Inc., a McLean, Va., market research company.

Networks may have local connections, but they are not strictly local. For the same reason, personal computers are not really personal. They ought to be called network appliances, he said.

A LAN is the result of a network that connects users locally. A personal computer is the consequence of network cables connected to it, Berrios said.

"It's now all about the network and the best way to manage it," he said.

Warfare á la Jimi Hendrix

In traditional warfare, meaning 20th-century warfare, the armed services were given designated areas in which they could conduct combat operations. Only in rare instances did one service venture into another's space.

And that area of control extended upward to include the sky. A virtual bubble existed over a service's area of expertise, so Marine aircraft, for example, would support Marine ground forces, and the same held true for the Army.

Those days are over. Gen. T. Michael Moseley, vice chief of staff for the Air Force, told

Lt. Gen. James Conway, commander of the 1st Marine Expeditionary Force, that the airspace over a battlefield would consist of a "purple haze" instead of a bubble. Purple is a magic color in the military used to designate something that gets input or participation from each of the armed

services.

We doubt Jimi Hendrix ever envisioned a day when one of his most famous songs would be used by the Pentagon to describe battle space.

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